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African Americans In The Early 1900's

By PaperNerd Contributor Nov 27, 2001 728 Words
In the beginning of the twentieth century the African Americans of the United States were treated unfairly, to inhumane extremes, with acts so cruel that they would scar Americans for decades to come. During these years, Americans were almost a different culture than the Americans of today. With years of oppression, government sponsored segregation, corruption in most all of the systems of government, and large groups of crazy racist, the America for African Americans then, was hardly even a real taste of what America should be to every citizen.

With laws in the country, such as the Jim Crow laws, which could have only been put in to effect for the purpose of degrading and publicly humiliating the African Americans they were directed at. The laws themselves were a slap in the face to the ideas of democracy, which America was founded on. When a law is in effect that says, you must enter a building though a different door than people of other races, no matter which door you wish to enter though, and you can be arrested and convicted of a crime if you don't; it is apparent that the Jim Crow laws, could only have been put into effect to embarrass African Americans. These laws are not in anyway, a part of democracy that Americans today know as, counting each person as an equal with rights. The Jim Crow laws were a total infringement of the rights of African American. Who is to say, that the man beside you can drink from this fountain but you must drink from another fountain, which in most likely not as well kept or well cleaned, and for no other reason but that you have different skin colors a thing which you control no more than, which way the wind will blow. If this was ever considered, to be any form of democracy it must have been a sick time for the country.

The secret of segregation was for the white people with power to take the rights and privileges of the Africans American without power, and to keep the African Americans scared for their life if they spoke out against it. One way this was done, was the rights to vote for African American men were made hard to obtain, thorough making and convicting innocent men of crimes or charging expensive taxes or fees to register to vote. The whites thought, if we keep the African Americans scared they'd never fight against the system of segregation; this the role the violent racist played the in the "keeping in place"� of African Americans, through extremely violent acts on African Americans, many of which did nothing wrong in the first place. Such tactics were used to stop African Americans from speaking or acting out against the society that is oppressing them. It is hard to even think that the same Constitution is protecting our rights to this day.

Who is the person responsible for pulling our country from the high racial period of the early twentieth century? It was not one person who did this enormous task, but the work of many men and women who were both white and black. One of the most famous women of the civil rights movement was Rosa Parks, we all surely know of how she didn't give up her seat on a bus in segregated Alabama in the beginnings of the civil rights movement, but most people didn't know she was working closely with the NAACP for many years before the day of her famous bus ride. Martin Luther King Jr. was another strong voice for the civil rights movement, which I am sure we are all aware of, but it is less known that he was in the Montgomery, Alabama area working with Rosa Parks before he became to be nationally famous. Before the end of the civil rights battle the Supreme Court was to be the best ally for the African Americans of the United States. The Supreme Court eventually overturned all of the nation's segregation laws deeming them unconstitutional.

The though of the democracy, that some many Americans love today for it's diversity, is the same democracy that once had the horrible laws of segregation. It is almost a sick feeling, to think that such an injustice was at one time not only legal but supported by the citizens of the United States.

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